Shane Carwin denies failing to promote UFC 116

Shane Carwin responded to accusations that he wasn’t properly promoting his upcoming Title Unification Fight with Brock Lesnar, writing on his personal site that

Those in the Media that want to chastise me have not even attempted to reach out through proper channels to get an interview. I never said I wasn’t doing interviews or eliminating media. I said I was not taking any direct media request. I just do not have the time to spend “just 15 minutes” on the phone answering the same questions over and over. The time adds up and that time has to come from my other job, family or training. None of which are worth sacrificing more than the need to promote a fight. I have however accepted 100% of the interview request that Zuffa has presented me.

Carwin was responding to comments made by Dave Meltzer on his Wrestling Observer Radio show (as reported by Zach Arnold) where he criticized Carwin for his demeanor during his and Brock Lesnar’s split screen interview during The Ultimate Finale.  Meltzer said that Carwin “didn’t say a thing” and looked “annoyed or detached” and was not helping Lesnar in promoting the fight. To be fair to Carwin, these Spike interviews almost never work and the UFC would be well advised to just air pre-recorded interviews in the style of their Countdown specials. Carwin defended himself that he doesn’t want to be “some company guy that says bullsh%t to sell tickets” as he finds such “smack talk” nothing more than “silly kids games.” He denied that unhappiness with his relatively low payment for fighting in such a high-profile main event  was behind him limiting his main event appearances although he once again confirmed that he will be paid £40,000 to show and £40,000 if he wins at UFC 116* and that he would prefer to be paid more.

Carwin reacted angrily to the suggestion that his reticence contrasted with the vocal criticism of Lesnar’s behavior after UFC 100 that directly led to being made Number One Contender instead of Cain Velasquez. He denied that he had been given his title shot because he “talked crap or played some hype man you are wrong” as although he had twice being given the title shot against Lesnar, he had earnt his title shot by defeating Frank Mir for the Interim Title. He also disputed Meltzer’s judgment that he hadn’t “done his job in selling this fight, that’s for sure, and I mean all across the board,” saying that his focus was on preparing for the fight against Lesnar.

*What I would be interested in hearing is whether Carwin is claiming that he received no extra-contractual payments from the UFC. The common understanding in the MMA press is that regardless of what fighters receive in their contract almost all receive bonus payments.

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